Whenever you have to write an essay or article, you need to develop solid content in order to impress the reader. Ideas could be scattered around in your mind, there might be a mentor or expert whose opinion you would want on the subject, or you could brainstorm with friends or colleagues to get more insights and varying perspectives.
Following are 7 strategies that you can use to explore or develop an idea further:
Let your ideas and thought flow freely. Jot down any point that comes into your mind on a piece of paper or on the computer. Don’t worry about the grammar or semantics. Just keep writing and don’t stop. This way, you won’t miss a particularly interesting idea that struck you. Freewriting is a great way to generate a number of ideas and viewpoints for your article.
This is yet another way where you encourage the natural flow of ideas. You can do this alone or with a group. The point of this exercise is to collect as many ideas as possible without judging them. Later on, you can scrap those that do not fit with your topic or won’t work. If you are doing this in a group, one person can note down all the points while others can stress their brains. It is a
5. Surveys and questions
Another effective way to approach your topic is to ask questions or conduct surveys about it.
Your questions should revolve around –
For surveys or polls also, you can frame the questions around these six question words.
Also known as ‘clustering’ or ‘webbing’, mapping involves the use of a visual diagram where the topic is at the center of the page, and there are different spokes linking various ideas together.
For example, you need to write on the issue of passive euthanasia and its legalization by the Supreme Court. You can write the pros and cons, the moral dilemma involved, or the ethics by creating a mesh of ideas around the central issue.
You can also make lists around the topic. A list can include all the associated sub-topics, as well as all the positive and negative aspects involved with the subject.
Another interesting way to explore your idea is to visualize the situation from multiple perspectives. If the topic is related to social, historical or cultural issues, then you can note down the views of different commentators on the same. You can come up with your own opinion on the same and shape your views around the prevailing sentiments.
1. Using charts or tables
Use flowcharts, tables and other descriptive tools to group your ideas. Here are some useful charts you will find helpful:
Pros and cons chart – that shows both sides of a topic or action plan
Five senses chart – Construct the topic around the five senses (see, hear, taste, feel, and smell)
Timeline – Showing the chronological relationship between events
Flowchart – Showing some process or work in a sequential manner
Comparison – To show things that are alike or different
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